What is the environmental or “green” use of the cloud?

There are many potential ways the Cloud can help provide a better world for future generations; conversely, known problems such as power-hungry data centers have been known to cause potential issues with factoring in environmental credentials. Applicants should focus on how their use of cloud technologies are helping to make a better environment.

The environmental or “green” use of the cloud overall refers to leveraging cloud computing technology in a way that promotes sustainability, reduces carbon footprint, and minimizes the impact on the environment. Some key aspects of the environmental use of the cloud are:

  • Energy Efficiency: Cloud service providers often operate large data centers that are designed with energy efficiency in mind. These data centers utilize advanced cooling systems, efficient hardware configurations, and virtualization techniques to optimize energy consumption. By consolidating computing resources and reducing the number of physical servers, the cloud can achieve higher energy efficiency compared to traditional on-premises infrastructure.
  • Server Utilization and Resource Optimization: Cloud providers implement techniques like server virtualization and load balancing to improve server utilization rates. This means that physical servers are utilized to their maximum capacity by hosting multiple virtual machines or containers. By efficiently utilizing computing resources, the cloud reduces the need for additional hardware, leading to energy savings and reduced e-waste.
  • Scalability and Elasticity: Cloud services allow organizations to scale their computing resources up or down based on demand. This elasticity ensures that resources are provisioned and used efficiently. Instead of maintaining a fixed infrastructure that may be underutilized during periods of low demand, organizations can dynamically adjust their resource allocation in the cloud, reducing energy consumption and minimizing environmental impact.
  • Data Center Location and Renewable Energy: Cloud providers are increasingly investing in renewable energy sources to power their data centers. They strive to locate data centers in regions with access to renewable energy, such as solar or wind power. By using clean energy sources, cloud services can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a more sustainable energy mix.
  • Virtual Collaboration and Remote Work: Cloud-based collaboration tools enable remote work and virtual meetings, reducing the need for commuting and travel. This not only saves time and increases productivity but also reduces carbon emissions associated with transportation. By leveraging cloud technologies for remote work and virtual collaboration, organizations can promote a greener and more sustainable work environment.
  • Paperless Operations: Cloud-based storage, document sharing, and workflow management systems can help organizations transition to paperless operations. By digitizing documents, reducing printing, and using cloud-based platforms for file storage and collaboration, businesses can minimize paper waste, lower resource consumption, and contribute to environmental conservation.
  • Green Certifications and Compliance: Cloud providers may obtain certifications and comply with environmental standards, such as ISO 14001 or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). These certifications ensure that data centers and cloud services are designed and operated in an environmentally responsible manner.

By leveraging the cloud’s energy-efficient infrastructure, scalability, and virtualization capabilities, organizations can reduce their environmental impact, optimize resource utilization, and contribute to a more sustainable future. The environmental use of the cloud aligns with the broader goals of sustainability and ecological responsibility in the digital era.

Previous recognition for Best Environmental or ‘Green’ Use of the Cloud

For a broader understanding of this Cloud Awards category, we have gathered examples from previous winners, finalists, and shortlistees which impressed the judging team with their innovative environmental or “green” use of the cloud.

Winner of The Cloud Awards 2022-2023 for the Best Environmental or 'Green' Use of the Cloud

Lead Judge Annabelle Whittall, said:

At The Cloud Awards, we think “green talk” is cheap and that what our planet needs is action. We are delighted to recognize Stormforge for their advancements in the environmental use of the cloud. Most remarkable about StormForge is the development of a machine learning algorithm that can effectively find the optimal configuration for cloud-native applications, ensuring cloud waste is minimized while still ensuring performance at levels that meet user expectations. This was a competitive category with some really impressive solutions and StormForge have a very well-deserved win. Great work, Stormforge!” 

Winner of The Cloud Awards 2021-2022 for the Best Environmental or 'Green' Use of the Cloud

Lead Judge Annabelle Whittall, said:

“The Cloud Awards are passionate about preserving our beautiful Earth and we are always delighted to see our entrants making advances in these areas too. Bringg have correctly identified that increases in eCommerce use and home delivery services are placing an additional strain upon our planet. Bringg aim to help retailers meet net-zero pledges. Bringg wants to enable consumers to communicate their “green preferences” at check-out and, in turn, for businesses to communicate the carbon emissions saved per delivery. We really love this feature and we think this is a well-deserved
win. Well done, Bringg!”

Finalist of The Cloud Awards 2022-2023 for the Best Environmental or 'Green' Use of the Cloud

This innovative cloud-based AI platform focuses on optimizing energy usage and promoting sustainability in various industries.

The AI Advisor leverages cloud computing technology to analyze vast amounts of data related to energy consumption and efficiency. By harnessing the power of the cloud, the solution provides real-time insights and recommendations to organizations, helping them make informed decisions to reduce their environmental impact.

Shortlistee of The Cloud Awards 2021-2022 for the Best Environmental or 'Green' Use of the Cloud

Kinsta takes pride in being a green hosting company that powers tens of thousands of websites using state-of-the-art technology and integration with the Google Cloud platform. Their environmental or green use of the cloud revolves around two key aspects: renewable energy and website performance optimization.

Kinsta’s infrastructure is built on the Google Cloud Platform, which is committed to utilizing 100% renewable energy sources to power its data centers. By relying on renewable energy, Kinsta significantly reduces its carbon footprint and minimizes the environmental impact of its hosting services.

A strong entry for the Best Environmental or ‘Green’ Use of the Cloud category should have:

  1. Sustainable Data Center Practices: The entry should highlight sustainable practices adopted within the data center infrastructure. This can include the use of environmentally friendly materials, recycling programs, waste reduction initiatives, and efficient cooling systems.
  2. Customer Impact: The entry should provide examples or case studies that demonstrate how the cloud solution has helped its customers reduce their environmental impact. This can include metrics on energy savings, carbon emission reductions, or other sustainability-related outcomes.
  3. Innovation and Future-oriented Approach: The entry should highlight any innovative approaches or future plans to further enhance the environmental or “green” use of the cloud. This can include advancements in renewable energy adoption, efficiency improvements, or research and development efforts focused on sustainability.
  4. Overall Impact and Benefits: The entry should summarize the overall impact and benefits of the cloud solution’s environmental initiatives. This can include quantifiable metrics, success stories, or testimonials that demonstrate the positive environmental contributions and advantages of the solution.

By showcasing strong commitment to environmental sustainability, innovative practices, measurable results, and customer impact, the entry can stand out as a strong contender for the Best Environmental or ‘Green’ Use of the Cloud category.

Next Steps to Enter The Cloud Awards

To enter this Cloud Awards category, or any other category in The Cloud Awards, please follow these three simple steps:

  • Download the entry form. Open up the ‘Cloud Awards Simple Form’ document.
  • Complete your form. You only need to complete the form once, even if entering multiple Cloud Awards categories.
  • Submit your entry. Head to the ‘Submit Now’ section on our website, select ‘The Cloud Awards’ and the category/categories you are entering from the list, upload your form and any other materials you would like the judges to review, and process your fees.

Since 2011, The Cloud Awards been helping organizations across the globe gain the recognition they deserve for market-leading innovation in the cloud computing and software sectors.

For a detailed breakdown of all the benefits you receive as an awards entrant as either a shortlistee, finalist or ultimate winner, please see our “Why Enter?” page. The many benefits are replicated across all international awards programs. If you have any questions about this category, please contact us.